By James Lyons-Weiler via The World Mercury Project
Crohn’s. Lupus. Autism. ADHD. Food allergies. Celiac disease. Sjögren’s syndrome. Polymyalgia rheumatica. Multiple sclerosis. Anklyosing spondylitis. Type 1 diabetes. Vasculitis. Peripheral neuropathy. The list goes on, and on, and on. We are being increasingly diagnosed with these conditions and diseases of unknown origin, and science has very little to say – why would autoimmune diseases and mysterious diseases of inflammation be so prevalent? When did this increase start?
As an observer and participant in modern biomedical research, and a lover of deep history, I tend to focus not on the immediate or last few years, but look for trends of accumulating risk over longer periods of time. Seeking an answer to the question of “when”, I used Pubmed to estimate, per yer, the number of studies and papers discussing diseases and conditions of unknown origin. I search for the term “unknown causes”, and also for the term “journal” to get some idea of the percentage of studies, papers and editorials discussing disease of unknown causes. I had no idea what to expect.
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Looking at a trend of topics per year, one has to correct for some estimate of the total number of articles published, because a mere count would, in part, reflect the overall trend in the explosion of total articles published. I chose as my control term the word “journal”, because many titles of publications include that term (e.g., “Journal of Nephrology). Here is the control result, which is not surprising, and completely expected:
Again, this merely reflects the trend in the increase in publications in Pubmed, and so using it would provide a relative control for that trend.
Next I searched for “Unknown Causes”, and calculated the number of articles citing unknown causes per 10,000 articles (again, relative denominator term).
What I found is shocking. Here is a graph of the number of articles per 10,000 discussing “unknown causes” (Y = #articles mentioning “unknown causes” / #articles mentioning “journal”, as in the title of journals).
Because the studies in Pubmed include all sorts of journals studying all sorts of things, the actual number is not as important as the trend. The signature is undeniable. Something changed dramatically in 1976. To the skeptic: the increase is greater if one does not correct for total publications.
What changed was national mass vaccination against influenza.
The follow section is excerpted from “Reflections on the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Program” by David Sencer and J. Donald Millar. [Link]
Swine Flu at Fort Dix
On February 3, 1976, the New Jersey State Health Department sent the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta isolates of virus from recruits at Fort Dix, New Jersey, who had influenza-like illnesses. Most of the isolates were identified as A/Victoria/75 (H3N2), the contemporary epidemic strain. Two of the isolates, however, were not typeable in that laboratory. On February 10, additional isolates were sent and identified in CDC laboratories as A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1), similar to the virus of the 1918 pandemic and better known as “swine flu.”
A meeting of representatives of the military, the National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the State of New Jersey Department of Health was quickly convened on Saturday, February 14, 1976. Plans of action included heightened surveillance in and around Fort Dix, investigation of the ill recruits to determine if contact with pigs had occurred, and serologic testing of recruits to determine if spread had occurred at Fort Dix.
Surveillance activities at Fort Dix gave no indication that recruits had contact with pigs. Surveillance in the surrounding communities found influenza caused by the current strain of influenza, A/Victoria, but no additional cases of swine flu. Serologic testing at Fort Dix indicated that person-to-person transmission had occurred in >200 recruits (4).
In 1974 and 1975, 2 instances of humans infected with swine influenza viruses had been documented in the United States. Both persons involved had close contact with pigs, and no evidence for spread of the virus beyond family members with pig contact could be found (5).
The National Influenza Immunization Program
On March 10, 1976, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Public Health Service (ACIP) reviewed the findings. The committee concluded that with a new strain (the H1N1 New Jersey strain) that could be transmitted from person to person, a pandemic was a possibility. Specifically, the following facts were of concern: 1) persons <50 years of age had no antibodies to this new strain; 2) a current interpandemic strain (A/Victoria) of influenza was widely circulating; 3) this early detection of an outbreak caused by A/New Jersey/76/Hsw1N1 (H1N1) provided an opportunity to produce a vaccine since there was sufficient time between the initial isolates and the advent of an expected influenza season to produce vaccine. In the past when a new pandemic strain had been identified, there had not been enough time to manufacture vaccine on any large scale; 4) influenza vaccines had been used for years with demonstrated safety and efficacy when the currently circulating vaccine strain was incorporated; 5) the military vaccine formulation for years had included H1N1, an indication that production was possible, and no documented adverse effects had been described.
ACIP recommended that an immunization program be launched to prevent the effects of a possible pandemic. One ACIP member summarized the consensus by stating “If we believe in prevention, we have no alternative but to offer and urge the immunization of the population.” One ACIP member expressed the view that the vaccine should be stockpiled, not given.
Making this decision carried an unusual urgency. The pharmaceutical industry had just finished manufacture of the vaccine to be used in the 1976–1977 influenza season. At that time, influenza vaccine was produced in fertilized hen’s eggs from special flocks of hens. Roosters used for fertilizing the hens were still available; if they were slaughtered, as was customary, the industry could not resume production for several months.
On March 13, an action memo was presented to the Secretary of the Department of Health Education and Welfare (DHEW). It outlined the problem and presented 4 alternative courses of action. First was “business as usual,” with the marketplace prevailing and the assumption that a pandemic might not occur. The second was a recommendation that the federal government embark on a major program to immunize a highly susceptible population. As a reason to adopt this plan of action, the memo stated that “the Administration can tolerate unnecessary health expenditures better than unnecessary death and illness if a pandemic should occur.” The third proposed course of action was a minimal response, in which the federal government would contract for sufficient vaccine to provide for traditional federal beneficiaries—military personnel, Native Americans, and Medicare-eligible persons. The fourth alternative was a program that would represent an exclusively federal response without involvement of the states.
The proposal recommended by the director of CDC was the second course, namely, for the federal government to contract with private pharmaceutical companies to produce sufficient vaccine to permit the entire population to be immunized against H1N1. The federal government would make grants to state health departments to organize and conduct immunization programs. The federal government would provide vaccine to state health departments and private medical practices. Since influenza caused by A/Victoria was active worldwide, industry was asked to incorporate the swine flu into an A/Victoria product to be used for populations at high risk.
Before the discussions with the secretary of DHEW had been completed, a member of his staff sent a memo to a health policy advisor in the White House, raising the specter of the 1918 pandemic, which had been specifically underemphasized in the CDC presentation. CDC’s presentation highlighted the pandemic potential, comparing it with the 1968–69 Hong Kong and 1957–58 Asian pandemics. President Gerald Ford’s staff recommended that the president convene a large group of well-known and respected scientists (Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk had to be included) and public representatives to hear the government’s proposal and make recommendations to the president about it. After the meeting, the president had a press conference, highlighted by the unique simultaneous appearance of Salk and Sabin. President Ford announced that he accepted the recommendations that CDC had originally made to the secretary of DHEW. The National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) was initiated.
The proposal was presented to 4 committees of the Congress, House and Senate authorization committees and House and Senate appropriation committees. All 4 committees reported out favorable legislation, and an appropriation bill was passed and signed.
The estimated budgeted cost of the program was $137 million. When Congress passed the appropriation, newspapers mischaracterized the cost as “$1.9 billion” because the $137 million was included as part of a $1.9 billion supplemental appropriation for the Department of Labor. In the minds of the public, this misconception prevailed.
Immediately after the congressional hearing, a meeting of all directors of state health departments and medical societies was held at CDC. The program was presented by CDC, and attendees were asked for comments. A representative from the New Jersey state health department opposed the plan; the Wisconsin state medical society opposed any federal involvement. Otherwise, state and local health departments approved the plan.
Within CDC, a unit charged with implementing the program, which reported to the director, was established. This unit, NIIP, had complete authority to draw upon any resources at CDC needed. NIIP was responsible for relations with state and local health departments (including administration of the grant program for state operations, technical advice to the procurement staff for vaccine, and warehousing and distribution of the vaccine to state health departments) and established a proactive system of surveillance for possible adverse effects of the influenza vaccines, the NIIP Surveillance Assessment Center (NIIP-SAC). (This innovative surveillance system would prove to be NIIP’s Trojan horse.) In spite of the obstacles discussed below, NIIP administered a program that immunized 45 million in 10 weeks, which resulted in doubling the level of immunization for persons deemed to be at high risk, rapidly identifying adverse effects, and developing and administering an informed consent form for use in a community-based program.
Obstacles to the Vaccination Plan
The principal obstacle was the lack of vaccines. As test batches were prepared, the largest ever field trials of influenza vaccines ensued. The vaccines appeared efficacious and safe (although in the initial trials, children did not respond immunologically to a single dose of vaccine, and a second trial with a revised schedule was needed) (6). Hopes were heightened for a late summer/early fall kickoff of mass immunization operations.
In January 1976, before the New Jersey outbreak, CDC had proposed legislation that would have compensated persons damaged as a result of immunization when it was licensed by FDA and administered in the manner recommended by ACIP. The rationale given was that immunization protects the community as well as the individual (a societal benefit) and that when a person participating in that societal benefit is damaged, society had a responsibility to that person. The proposal was sent back from a staff member in the Surgeon General’s office with a handwritten note, “This is not a problem.”
Soon, however, NIIP received the first of 2 crippling blows to hopes to immunize “every man, woman, and child.” The first was later in 1976, when instead of boxes of bottled vaccine, the vaccine manufacturers delivered an ultimatum—that the federal government indemnify them against claims of adverse reactions as a requirement for release of the vaccines. The government quickly capitulated to industry’s demand for indemnification. While the manufacturers’ ultimatum reflected the trend of increased litigiousness in American society, its unintended, unmistakable subliminal message blared “There’s something wrong with this vaccine.” This public misperception, warranted or not, ensured that every coincidental health event that occurred in the wake of the swine flu shot would be scrutinized and attributed to the vaccine.
On August 2, 1976, deaths apparently due to an influenzalike illness were reported from Pennsylvania in older men who had attended the convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia. A combined team of CDC and state and local health workers immediately investigated. By the next day, epidemiologic evidence indicated that the disease was not influenza (no secondary cases occurred in the households of the patients). By August 4, laboratory evidence conclusively ruled out influenza. However, this series of events was interpreted by the media and others as an attempt by the government to “stimulate” NIIP.
Shortly after the national campaign began, 3 elderly persons died after receiving the vaccine in the same clinic. Although investigations found no evidence that the vaccine and deaths were causally related, press frenzy was so intense it drew a televised rebuke from Walter Cronkite for sensationalizing coincidental happenings.
What NIIP did not and could not survive, however, was the second blow, finding cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) among persons receiving swine flu immunizations. As of 1976, >50 “antecedent events” had been identified in temporal relationship to GBS, events that were considered as possible factors in its cause. The list included viral infections, injections, and “being struck by lightning.” Whether or not any of the antecedents had a causal relationship to GBS was, and remains, unclear. When cases of GBS were identified among recipients of the swine flu vaccines, they were, of course, well covered by the press. Because GBS cases are always present in the population, the necessary public health questions concerning the cases among vaccine recipients were “Is the number of cases of GBS among vaccine recipients higher than would be expected? And if so, are the increased cases the result of increased surveillance or a true increase?” Leading epidemiologists debated these points, but the consensus, based on the intensified surveillance for GBS (and other conditions) in recipients of the vaccines, was that the number of cases of GBS appeared to be an excess.
Had H1N1 influenza been transmitted at that time, the small apparent risk of GBS from immunization would have been eclipsed by the obvious immediate benefit of vaccine-induced protection against swine flu. However, in December 1976, with >40 million persons immunized and no evidence of H1N1 transmission, federal health officials decided that the possibility of an association of GBS with the vaccine, however small, necessitated stopping immunization, at least until the issue could be explored. A moratorium on the use of the influenza vaccines was announced on December 16; it effectively ended NIIP of 1976. Four days later the New York Times published an op-ed article that began by asserting, “Misunderstandings and misconceptions… have marked Government … during the last eight years,” attributing NIIP and its consequences to “political expediency” and “the self interest of government health bureaucracy” (7). These simple and sinister innuendos had traction, as did 2 epithets used in the article to describe the program, “debacle” in the text and “Swine Flu Fiasco” in the title.
On February 7, the new secretary of DHEW, Joseph A. Califano, announced the resumption of immunization of high-risk populations with monovalent A/Victoria vaccine that had been prepared as part of the federal contracts, and he dismissed the director of CDC.
NIIP may offer lessons for today’s policymakers, who are faced with a potential pandemic of avian influenza and struggling with decisions about preventing it (Table). Two of these lessons bear further scrutiny here.
Media and Presidential Attention
While all decisions related to NIIP had been reached in public sessions (publishing of the initial virus findings in CDC’s weekly newsletter, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR); New York Times reporter Harold Schmeck’s coverage of the ACIP sessions, the president’s press conference, and 4 congressional hearings), effective communication from scientifically qualified persons was lacking, and the perception prevailed that the program was motivated by politics rather than science. In retrospect (and to some observers at the time), the president’s highly visible convened meeting and subsequent press conference, which included pictures of his being immunized, were mistakes. These instances seemed to underline the suspicion that the program was politically motivated, rather than a public health response to a possible catastrophe.Annex 11 of the draft DHEW pandemic preparedness plan states, “For policy decisions and in communication, making clear what is not known is as important as stating what is known. When assumptions are made, the basis for the assumptions and the uncertainties surrounding them should be communicated” (11). This goal is much better accomplished if the explanations are communicated by those closest to the problem, who can give authoritative scientific information. Scientific information coming from a nonscientific political figure is likely to encourage skepticism, not enthusiasm.
Neither CDC nor the health agencies of the federal government had been in the habit of holding regular press conferences. CDC considered that its appropriate main line of communication was to states and local health departments, believing that they were best placed to communicate with the public. MMWR served both a professional and public audience and accounted for much of CDC’s press coverage. In 1976, no all-news stations existed, only the nightly news. The decision to stop the NIIP on December 16, 1976, was announced by a press release from the office of the assistant secretary for health. The decision to reinstitute the immunization of those at high risk was announced by a press release from the office of the secretary, DHEW. In retrospect, periodic press briefings would have served better than responding to press queries. The public must understand that decisions are based on public health, not politics. To this end, health communication should be by health personnel through a regular schedule of media briefings.
Decision To Begin Immunization
This decision is worthy of serious question and debate. As Walter Dowdle (12) points out in this issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the prevailing wisdom was that a pandemic could be expected at any time. Public health officials were concerned that if immunization was delayed until H1N1 was documented to have spread to other groups, the disease would spread faster than any ability to mobilize preventive vaccination efforts. Three cases of swine influenza had recently occurred in persons who had contact with pigs. In 1918, after the initial outbreak of influenza at Fort Riley in April, widespread outbreaks of influenza did not occur until late summer (13).
The Delphi exercise of Schoenbaum in early fall of 1976 (13) was the most serious scientific undertaking to poll scientists to decide whether or not to continue the program. Its main finding was that the cost benefit would be best if immunization were limited to those >25 years of age (and now young children are believed to be a potent source of spread of influenza virus!). Unfortunately, no biblical Joseph was there to rise from prison and interpret the future.
As Dowdle further states (12), risk assessment and risk management are separate functions. But they must come together with policymakers, who must understand both. These discussions should not take place in large groups in the president’s cabinet room but in an environment that can establish an educated understanding of the situation. Once the policy decisions are made, implementation should be left to a single designated agency. Advisory groups should be small but representative. CDC had the lead responsibility for operation of the program. Implementation by committee does not work. Within CDC, a unit was established for program execution, including surveillance, outbreak investigation, vaccine procurement and distribution, assignment of personnel to states, and awarding and monitoring grants to the states. Communications up the chain of command to the policymakers and laterally to other directly involved federal agencies were the responsibility of the CDC director, not the director of NIIP, who was responsible for communications to the states and local health departments, those ultimately implementing operations of the program. This organizational mode functioned well, a tribute to the lack of interagency jealousies.
[End of Excerpt]
This history is fascinating. But the conclusions of those involved in the decision-making about risk is telling: even though they observed Guillain-Barré syndrome in a significant number of individuals, they forged ahead with ACIP telling them it was more important to conduct mass vaccinations.
In 1986, the The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Guillain-Barré Syndrome was added to the table of vaccine injuries for which compensation is awarded in 2017. It took thirty-one years to add GBS to the table, and they knew about the assocation for ten years before the 1986 act.
When assessing risk, there are the knowns, the unknowns, and the unknowns one does even know to look for. The “Reflections” article, on the CDC website, shows that knowledge of risk of autoimmune disorders like Guillain-Barré Syndrome and deaths from vaccination was present from the beginning.
Serious side effects in a minority of patients is rationalized by the benefits of the flu vaccine, and vaccine risk denialism perpetuates the regulation of perception necessary for continuation of the view that the benefits outweigh the risks.
But, at a population level, evidence is mounting that, due to numerous reasons, mass influenza vaccination is self-defeating.
The facts in the scientific literature that must be considered include:
(1) A/H3N2 disease vaccinated individuals were significantly more likely to report myalgias (OR 3.31; 95% CI [1.22, 8.97]) than vaccinated individuals. [Vaccine-associated reduction in symptom severity among patients with influenza]
(2) Vaccination with Thimerosal induces immunological damage. Specifically, Thimerosal inhibits the protein ERAP1, which shortens proteins headed for the cell surface of MHC Class 1 [“Stamogiannos et al., 2016 Screening Identifies Thimerosal as a Selective Inhibitor of Endoplasmic Reticulum Aminopeptidase 1″]
(3) Vaccination against Influenza with thimerosal-containing vaccines is associated with an increase in non-influenza respiratory infections [“Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine“]
(4) Repeated vaccination at a young age substantially increases the risk of influenza in older age, by a factor ranging between 1. 2 (vaccination after 50 years) to 2. 4 (vaccination from birth) [“Repeated influenza vaccination of healthy children and adults: borrow now, pay later?“]
(5) B-cells activated by flu vaccine crowds out B-cells for other viruses [“Why Flu Vaccines So Often Fail, Science Magazine“]
(13) The evidence that heterologous immunity and very limited efficacy makes universal vaccination against the flu will create more disease than it prevents is impressive. [Why do people get the flu after getting the flu shot?]
(8) The rate of aerosol shedding among cases with vaccination in the current and previous season is higher than that in people with no vaccination in those two seasons. [“Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community“]
(10) Repeated flu shots may blunt effectiveness [“Repeated flu shots may blunt effectiveness“]
These observations also exist at the population level. CDC annually reports both the influenza vaccine uptake and estimates of the adjusted vaccine efficacy (AVE). If the AVE of two years following the efficacy of a given year is regressed, the annual loss in efficacy in the flu vaccine due to the flu vaccine is 1.167 units of AVE per percentage increase in flu vaccine uptake:
These result are from CDC’s own data, and reflect population effects. They are robust to the low coverage value ‘outlier’, data provided here for the interested skeptic. seasonal-flu-vaccine-effectiveness .
Repeated calls for addressing these conundrums fall on deaf ears. The explosion of diseases of mysterious origin – the cost of morbidity and mortality – means there is no excuse for sloppy, lazy vaccinology. The changes needed are known, and there is no excuse. Unsafe epitopes that match human proteins must be removed. Thimerosal must be removed. Aluminum exposure must be minimized.
We desperately need a new generation of technologies for artificial immunization, and those products should (a) not be contracted via the CDC at all, (b) subjected to the same rigorous standards of evidence of safety required of drugs with long-term safety outcomes (total health outcome awareness), (c) vaccine risk denialism must be stopped immediately.
The 1976 risk policy assumptions are summarized by Sencer and Millar:
When lives are at stake, it is better to err on the side of overreaction than underreaction. Because of the unpredictability of influenza, responsible public health leaders must be willing to take risks on behalf of the public. This requires personal courage and a reasonable level of understanding by the politicians to whom these public health leaders are accountable. All policy decisions entail risks and benefits: risks or benefits to the decision maker; risks or benefits to those affected by the decision. In 1976, the federal government wisely opted to put protection of the public first.” (emphasis added)
At this point, in 2018, one must ask: when will protection from vaccine-induced immunological and neurological damage become a factor in the risk equations, or better yet, a priority? When will it be seen as more important than the management of the perception of risk?
A minority of ‘flu’ cases involve influenza [“Influenza: marketing vaccines by marketing disease“] Very few “flu deaths” involve influenza virus infection [“Are US flu death figures more PR than science?”]
Many of the deaths attributed to infuenza may be due to “sudden deterioration” observed due to Tamiflu treatment. [“Oseltamivir and early deterioration leading to death: a proportional mortality study for 2009A/H1N1 influenza“]
The arguments for uniform healthcare worker influenza vaccination are not supported by existing literature. [What, in Fact, Is the Evidence That Vaccinating Healthcare Workers against Seasonal Influenza Protects Their Patients? A Critical Review]
The number needed to treat to prevent one infection is 71, and vaccination has no net positive effect on working days or hospitalization. [“Vaccines to prevent influenza in healthy adults“].
ACIP selectively picks results of science to support influenza vaccine and ignores results that question efficacy and safety. [Guidelines in disrepute: a case study of influenza vaccination of healthcare workers ]
Antivirals if used early can reduce pneumonia and bronchitis, but appear to come with a risk of psychiatric episodes. [Narayana Manjunatha, N et al. 2011. The neuropsychiatric aspects of influenza/swine flu: A selective review Ind Psychiatry J. 20(2): 83–90.]
New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones
New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.
In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.
The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).
Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.
EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.
The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.
Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”
“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”
Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.
“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing
EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.
Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:
- Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
- Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
- Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone receptor expression
- Antagonize hormone receptors
- Interact with or activate hormone receptors
- Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
- Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone synthesis
- Alter hormone transport across cell membranes
The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two: “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.
Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.
The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.
The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.
The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical, particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.
Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found ”any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”
Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly
- The Facts:
A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
- Reflect On:
Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?
What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”
To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.
The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”
The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.
For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.
He goes on to mention another study:
In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.
So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.
But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.
That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:
In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).
The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.
Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.
- A 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
- A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
- A 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
- A 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.
Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.
At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.
We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?
In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.
When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.
The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.
In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.
The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.
Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?
When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.
Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die
- The Facts:
The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.
- Reflect On:
Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?
What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.
Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”
According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”
The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.
Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.
Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:
The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.
Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example, A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:
Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is. Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.
Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…
This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.
The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?
As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.
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